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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: In-form Jitu Rai becomes world's No. 1 pistol shooter

Sports Shorts: In-form Jitu Rai becomes world's No. 1 pistol shooter

Last updated on: July 01, 2014 19:20 IST

In-form Jitu Rai becomes world's No. 1 pistol shooter

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After winning three medals in the ISSF World Cups in Munich and Slovenia recently, in-form Indian shooter Jitu Rai was eleveated to the world's number one ranking in the air pistol event.

The 27-year-old armyman from Lucknow is the seventh Indian shooter to achieved the No 1 ranking.

Anjali Bhagwat, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Gagan Narang, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjon Sodhi and Heena Sidhu are the others in various categories.

"Jitu Rai has been ranked number one shooter in air pistol event in the world ranking. The ISSF has released the world ranking of shooters in various events today and Jitu Rai was declared the number one shooter," the National Rifle Association of India said.

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Image: Jitu Rai
Photographs: Olympic Gold Quest

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In-form Jitu Rai becomes world's No. 1 pistol shooter

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Rai followed up his silver with a historic gold in the men's air pistol event earlier this month in the ISSF World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia.

It was the first time an Indian shooter won two medals in a World Cup championship.

Rai, who missed the free pistol gold by 0.1 point and had to settle for silver, shot 200.8 in the final round of the air pistol event to clinch the gold medal.

Before that, he had won a silver medal in the ISSF World Cup in Munich.

The president of NRAI, Raninder Singh, expressed happiness over Rai's achievement and hoped more and more shooters will follow suit.


Image: Jitu Rai
Photographs: Olympic Gold Quest

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Rejuvenated Cilic hails 'mental toughness' after ban

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A steely-eyed Marin Cilic blasted his way past Jeremy Chardy and into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time on Monday, a year after failing a drugs test and pulling out of the tournament.

Despite the Croatian's initial claims that a knee injury was hampering his progress, it was later revealed that Cilic had tested positive for banned stimulant nikethamide in April 2013 and the International Tennis Federation handed him a nine-month ban in September.

The ban was reduced to four months after he appealed on the grounds that he had inadvertently taken the substance in glucose tablets and Cilic is now drawing on the experience of that unfortunate chapter in his career.

"For me, the most important part was that I found some mental toughness out of all of that," Cilic said of the ban after beating Chardy 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-4 in the fourth round.

"When I came back it sort of gave me more motivation to work and use every opportunity I had to be prepared for every tournament. I used that time as well for physical preparation, I was doing a lot ... Overall, I am feeling very well and I think my game is at a high level."

Cilic, who became the fourth Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, fired 33 aces past Frenchman Chardy and is delighted with his serve's increasing dependability.

"The serve has become a big weapon and I can rely on it during the matches," he told reporters. "I felt in some points that Jeremy was guessing where the serve was going to go and he was making some mistakes."

Cilic, the 26th seed, is coached by compatriot Goran Ivanisevic and says that he is also benefiting from the guidance of the charismatic former Wimbledon champion.

"All the things we are working on, they're working for me on the court," Cilic said.

"Having him over here beside me is definitely another big plus. He's been in the second week of Wimbledon many times, so of course I'm leaving all the small details up to him." 


Image: Marin Cilic
Photographs: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

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